New Year-looking back and looking ahead

Another year gone by. Last year I made little time for blogging. My standard excuse: too busy with my work for clients or with my volunteer work. That explanation suggests that one excludes the other, which may not be the case. The synthesis of working and sharing is called Working Out Loud (WOL). As defined by John Stepper WOL is “making your work visible in such a way that it might help others….. when you work in a more open, connected way – you can build a purposeful network that makes you more effective and provides access to more opportunities.”

It has been buzzing around WOL on internet for some time now, so I have some catching-up to do. The  basics I learned from this blog by Sahana Chattopadhyay and you will find some practical, critical thoughts on the subject by Nigel Young.

Particularly Young’s first point is relevant: “WOL is about working in a visible space not preparing and presenting in that space”.  Unfortunately not all the work I do for clients can be be done in a shared, let alone public space. So how do you manage that? Can you do part of your work out loud and be quiet about other parts?  Would that still be WOL? Anyway, I am going to try an find out this year how I can WOL and be discrete, protecting the interests of the organisations I support.

But even if I end up working really quietly in 2016,  I will steal ideas from the WOL-community. For example, I will follow in the footsteps of the “writer who draws” and makes “art with words and books with pictures”,  Austin Kleon  and be creative and Steal like an Artist (thank you Russell Kerkhoven)

Stealing, sharing and amplifying or endorsing: often my own experiences are not at all unique, and others formulate much more eloquently the issues I come across in my own work. A good example is a blog on non-profits by Vu LE I started followng in 2015. Check out this one for example on  lessons learned in 2015.  I particularly like the one about the danger of ignoring the elephant in the room:

An elephant in the room is most destructive when it is ignored. Every organization has an elephant. Or an 800-pound gorilla. Or whatever large animal is representative of a problem that everyone knows exists but no one wants to wrestle with. Deal with it head-on, because ignoring it usually makes it worse.

Next year I hope to become better at dealing with elephants large and small. Will keep you posted!

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